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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 2, 2014 2:00am-4:01am EDT

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>> i don't know about that. >> but it makes clear the senate can discuss and debate and agree and disagree who should be appointed. oh whole series but the constitutional authority has rules how to run the business. there is the case the 19th century supreme court that one to rule if we have not enough people from the team bird for those surgeons that are into a nose count to 51 on the ground. the supreme court said they can do that. it is a quorum continued -- with the casexdhd$mhheñ of the e
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and said even if they come for 40 seconds they get to say that. . .shington journal"
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continues. host: joining us from california, ben shapiro. his most recent book "the people versus barack obama: the criminal case against the obama administration." do you support what the house is doing in suing the president. guest: i do. it is not the best of all available options, but it is an option in terms of curbing the president's power. the last time the house did this, the president lost 9-0 at the supreme court level. a sillyent is obviously action given the democratic control of the senate. they're left with two options, cut funding for some of the
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president's programs or sue the president, which is what he is doing and which is what they are doing. "the washington times," talking about the impeachment issue. he says the democrats are using as a fundraising tool. that it is not a viable option. guest: that is correct, given democratic control of the senate. republicans were not willing to convict president clinton when he committed perjury. the idea that impeachment is going to happen is ridiculous. impeachment is ineffective over the course of u.s. history. we have had a total of 18 impeachment in the house and nine convictions in the senate, one every 30 years. that is not sufficient to curb the excesses of the executive branch. legislative power needs to be used. host: nancy pelosi talks about the gop and the lawsuit, i want to get your reaction to what she had to say. [video clip] >> republicans do not have time
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to raise the minimum wage, but they have time to sue the president of the united states. they do not have the money to feed the children, help the american people, but they have -- they want to blame -- they sue thelank check to president. toy have lost moral standing what is happening on the border, they have standing to sue the president. that is framework for how they go forward. standing, they disagree with nancy pelosi on policy. that is what you expect nancy pelosi to say. and facileidiculous comment by nancy pelosi. she is good at manipulating. the idea that republicans have a choice between agreeing with
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nancy pelosi and suing the president, that is a false dichotomy. they could do both. when the president overstepped his boundaries, who is going to stop him? this is a troubling indictment of what is going on in congress. the fact is that there are a lot of people in the u.s., who see m to have fallen into the trap of believing that just because they do not like what congress is doing, they can let the president act on his own. that is the beginning of tyranny. i do not remember the exact revision of the constitution where it says if congress does not do with the president wants, the president gets to do whatever he wants. that would be tyranny. my impression is that the constitution is not fond of that and we actually fought a resolution to stop that sort of behavior. host: we were talking earlier about the fact that the house is staying in session to work on the border bill. the house should say in
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session and also take into lot of thet a grassroots thanks. you are seeing a gap between the grassroots and the establishment. pushingt news has been hard against the border bill, with good reason. john boehner's border bill is insufficient, it does not curb the president's ability to give amnesty to millions of people, which is obama's end goal. what is so funny about all of this, 99% of americans basically agree on this, shut the border, figure out what to do with the people here. the fact that we keep going back to this idea that all legislation has to be calmer why an 800-page, bill is better than a two page bill. ucla,harvard law,
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breitbart law and columnist at truthrevolt.com. a radio talkshow host and the author of six books. most recently, "the people versus barack obama." mike, maryland, independent caller. caller: good morning. allomment, i feel like with about, with obama and now they are going to stay in session, they are not going to add anything. it is going to be the same thing as it was with the health care bill. it will be the same with the borders. the wholeis like thing is just a game. it is just going to keep destroying the sovereignty of america. aimingt is what we are for. we can sit here every day and people are calling and everybody
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is talking about what is going on here and there was stuff. nobody is dealing with obama. he should be, he should have been gone by now. we do not have any problem with nixon, but now all of a sudden we're going to play this game. it is disgusting. it is like every morning listening to this, the colonies did not have any problems standing up against tyranny that was going on, there was more of a christian-based back then. is where we are really at. we do not have -- spiritual malady has been the story in america. in theed that sits capital and all the people crapg laws don't give a about the people. host: we get your point. guest: we are watching an administration that does not want to follow laws on the
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books. the bush administration was not good on the border either. the idea that new laws are going to fix everything, the administration does not want to pass laws as they stand. we do not have the power to close the border, of course we do. it would cost about 25 billion dollars to build a border fence, sort of like israel's border fence. something like 15,000 national guard troops to secure the border. yet we are not doing any of that. the fact that we're not doing any of that space to the fact that we do not want to support a lot of the folks coming in. my position on immigration is that i am for open immigration in the absence of a welfare state. you cannot have both. you have both parties arguing for the continuation of an open for different purposes. democrats think it is going to get them more voters. and a lot of republicans want an open border because they want
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cheap labor. the people who are coming here who want to be part of the american dream, the american dream has to exist in order for them to be part of it. it is predicated on the notion that hard work allows you to get ahead and that the welfare state is not going to allow people to mooch off the system. if people are coming here with no education and no marketable job skills, if we have a welfare state in place, they are going to be a net burden on the system. host: a tweet for you. schapiro, we all know that going after the president will sell a lot of books. can you admit that the house is dysfunctional or incompetent?" guest: i certainly think congress is incompetent. i don't think there is anything new about that. congress has the power to use its legislative power to check the president. the fact that obama is overstepping his boundaries.
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there is nothing new about this particular house. host: any difference now with kevin mccarthy as majority leader? guest: major i have not seen any difference thus far. he may be slightly more in touch with the grassroots than eric cantor was. debbie, indiana, republican line. theer: all i want to tell american people is that we are the boss of the senate, the congress, the president. we voted all those people in, and if we were doing a job like they are doing right now, we as bosses would walk in and say you are all fired. dorefore, what they need to is sit down and decide, when it is time to reelect people, are we really going to go back to this chaos or do we want to straighten out this problem and
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get new ideas in there? get rid of nancy pelosi, john boehner, all of them. if they cannot work for the american people, fine. guest: the kind of throw them all out mentality -- again, i think there is a lot of justification to it, but the reality is -- it cannot be we are just going to elect new people every two years or every quarter years or every 60's and then we just forget about it and there left to their own devices. the american people need to constantly be putting pressure on their congress people. we are seeing that right now. i think the level of dysfunction in washington is not the worst thing in the world. i am exiting more concert in washington is fully functional and everybody agrees. i would rather have congress do nothing than congress do something that is the wrong thing. host: i want to get your reaction to john boehner talking about impeachment. [video clip] talk about impeachment is
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coming from the president's own staff and from democrats on the hill because they are trying to rally the people and to get money for this year's election. we have no plans to impeach the president. listen, it is all a scam asserted by democrats at the white house. host: ben shapiro? guest: i think there is some truth to that. the fact that the white house wants to talk about impeachment all the time is good evidence that they are interested is using it for political gain. is guilty of impeachable offenses. nancy pelosi had the right response to this question when she was asked in 2000 six. she said, yes, bush is guilty of impeachable offenses, but we cannot impeach him. that is the right answer and destroy for president obama. even though the president may have committed impeachable are politicale realities to deal with. here is the truth -- i know people think on the right for some reason that moving
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president obama out of office would be some sort of political put nancy a. it would not be. joe biden would take over. you would have an executive branches 3 million people strong. changing who occupies the oval office is not going to change any of that. it will take a long and determined effort to minimize ensuring the size and scope of government so it is not as heard in some as it is in your life right now. that does not change just by getting rid of one guy in the oval office. how do you sell that message to the majority of americans? i think it is being sold to the american public. what we're watching right now is that every day government is encouraging more and more upon the personal space of americans, and you're seeing resistance at the state level from various governors, including cancer. utilizing various forms of resistance of the individual level for individuals are refusing to provide you with a
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believe that the incompetent federal regulations. i think the government is doing a pretty good of of convincing people it is really bad at a lot of stuff. host: a call from south carolina on our democrat line. wonderings, i'm still whothey do not recognize god is. god is president in office. these that he would leave one term. i think they are? just really affected the whole process. thiskeep coming up with because he is black. host: we hear that often hear from callers on the "washington journal" that republicans are attacking the president because he is african-american and no other president has faced this kind of harshness before? guest: it is ridiculous. george w. bush had documentaries
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about why he should be assassinated. obama isn to barack not unique. and to say it is based on race is also ridiculous. promisedt said what he he would be -- he has completely transformed the health-care system. he has flipped the united states of border policy. border policy has been a ground shift. it has been an acceleration of what we have seen over the last 20 years from both parties. resistance, and i have to say the idolatrous worship of this president and some precincts of the united states is more frightening than anything the president himself is doing. when david horwitz introduced you the other night before your book talk, he said that the president was a lifelong communist. do you agree with that? o, i mean, i think the
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president is a political nihilist at this point. he studied martial. i think the president has a lot toward a marxist point of view. as far as the id he wants to nationalize all industry, it depends on your definition of communism. i think people think soviet union, but i do not think to be the soviet union is barack obama's role. a leveling of economic outcomes is his goal. could be marxist without being a communist, if that makes sense. host: frank, pennsylvania, independent line. caller: i want to ask if he thinks this is a big act of both sides, democrats and republicans? they both have things to gain. democrats think they are going to gain themselves blue states out of red states. and republicans controlled by the industry, then the big-money businesses in this country want a third world workforce in this
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country. i would like to hear his comments on that. immigration issue, i think there is truth to the idea that both parties are in favor of immigration policy that is not good for the united states. i think a lot of politicians are beholden to big business in the republican party and believe that by importing a chief labor force they are somehow helping the situation. i think a lot of democrats who want to keep that border opened for a lot of reasons, first, that these people will eventually vote, and second, the thing hispanics currently in the united states will vote for them. and the third reason is because they understand we will have to pay for a lot of the folks crossing the border and there is this sort of nihilistic streak within the current democratic party that suggests terror and dumb people that are more wealthy is more important than building up people who are more poor. it is a requirement now for rich people to pay more taxes.
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rich schapiro -- mr. shapiro, this is an op-ed from this morning with the headline -- "leaving u.s. allies adrift as chaos rises." guest: clearly, he is right. it is a dramatic understatement. the president has actually reversed sides on the war on
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terror. we are now allying ourselves with the muslim brotherhood and hamas. we have been spending $400 million a year on the palestinian unity government that includes hamas. we have been brokering deals thaniran that are less worthless. we have put israel in the position of having to strike policy ifs.' stated israel wishes to defend herself. what we're watching is either a manifestation of jew hatred on the part of the obama administration and a specific dislike of israel or a more generalized dislike of american allies, which is also a possibility. america has abandoned allies. we're watching a shrinking of the american influence on the world scene, and president obama seems to be very much in favor of that. host: chris, gaithersburg, maryland, republican. taking myank you for call and thank you for c-span.
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do you believe that the republicans are sitting back and just letting this guy do as much damage, meaning the president, trying to keep his reins in a little bit? second of all, do you think he will go down in history as one ,f the bottom five presidents even with the rewriting of history books which i am sure will be done? i always feel like the democrats, their last argument is always racism. i will take my comment off the air. guest: i think there are a couple different questions there. as far as president obama's place in history, i think that will be decided by whichever historians are writing. was a wonderful president but a lot of americans think he was a terrible president. i am not a big fan of the "judgments of history." i do not think there is unified stream in the judgment of history. i do not think it is the unified stream. there are many different perspectives, most of them
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wrong. there is that. as far as whether the republicans have been enabling the president, that i very much doubt. i do not think the republican congress is unable the president. since 2010 emma the president''s major initiatives have failed at every major legislative level, which is why he is resorting to executive authority overreaches. executive requirement is not a last resort, it is a first resort for those on the left. the first resort of the left is to start shouting about how it is racism as opposed to possible extremism of the people in power. host: ben shapiro, working people hear your radio show? guest: the first one is a group radio show, me, a liberal guy, 0nother conservative, klra 87 in los angeles. i have a second show on ktth 770 in seattle. host: are those on the internet?
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websitess, they have for the shows. governor christie stumps in new hampshire -- the headline in the "wall street journal." what is your take on the republican field? open field. a very they will see establishment consolidated around someone. chris christie seems to have lost some of his luster for a lot of the establishment folks. there is a lot of talk about jeb bush, which i think is unfortunate. i do not think a bush-clinton election will go well for republicans. it did not last time. i do not think we have seen the spotlight yet full stop a think bobby jindal will do some damage. someone from indiana will run and will be some damage before this is done. the truth is, the field is so open at this point and for some reason the american people -- there really is a possibility
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that an outsider, some of the we have never really considered, will jump into the race and really shake things up. it is still very early. i know that is a copout, but unfortunately, it is really early, and some and has to sort of copout on that one. host: greg, indianapolis, good morning. so funny listening to you because the funny thing is, i can guarantee you probably in the next 20 years -- maybe i will still be around here, there will be a latino president, just like there is an african-american president. i think that you white folks are just adding scared and you are panicking, so that is why you go against obama for everything that he says and everything that he does. because the white folks are losing their power. thank you. host: ben shapiro? guest: there is this thing called yarmulke, this idea that
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all white folk are the same and we all have the same belief him and the idea that white folk are simply afraid of losing the power -- first of all, i'm not sure when my folks on the jewish people, became white people, i guess when we became successful in the united states. but the idea that white folks are afraid of using their suppose it's a privacy in american society is asinine, resulting -- insulting, ridiculous, and every other derogatory word i can think of. people are upset in this country of every race about what is happening in the country. if you are not upset, you are not looking closely enough. host: david is in lawton, oklahoma. caller: thank you for taking my call. i want to comment on obama's leadership. the previous caller that brought up race and him being african-american and just disrespecting the guest and calling him white, categorizing him -- i am native american.
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very, very upset with what obama is doing with this country. he is taking this country into a country without a border, and if you do not have a border, then you are not even a country. so i do feel like he should be impeached. me being native american, if i was president, you better believe you guys would impeach me in a heartbeat for what obama is doing. i just do not see the race givingally put up and him a pass just because he is african-american or whatever. we do not even know who his real father is. they say barack obama is from africa. i saw a documentary about this guy davis being his father. so who is the guy who is in the white house in the first place? terrible leadership.
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he should be impeached. i wish the american people would wake up and realize that he is destroying our country. i think we got, the point. ben shapiro? clouding the obama administration with conspiracy theories about his heritage is not only a mistake, but it is silly. we know who his father is and we know where he was born. the rest is nonsense. as far as the notion he has a certain luster because of his race, in the eyes of the media, that is certainly true. if we had seen another president performed the weight obama has performed, i think the media would have turned a little bit on him a long time ago. we're watching certain segments of the population have a worship for this president, the likes of which i have not seen in my lifetime. the fact that his approval rating, despite his performance, his never drop below 40% shows there is a certain level of loyalty to him that cannot be explained by his political success. host: your radio show comes on
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and about 40 five minutes from now. what is your lead? guest: we will be talking about the immigration issue and that debate. we will be talking about israel and the continuing fallout in the gaza strip. i hope we will be talking about the california water drought which continues to be ridiculous given that the governor of our state is about to start fining is on an individual level essentially while we just blew 20 million gallons of water in a water main break at ucla. you could see people swimming around like it was the pool over at poly. host: tell me about the water shortage. guest: there is a water shortage. this happens when a government subsidizes water rights. they are fining people for water use of water, but they keep the water it's so low that people have an incentive to keep using the water at these rates. plus, the reality is that the government of california is losing 10% of its water in leaks, and they are not fixing
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those. instead, their fining individuals. teresa, carnegie, pennsylvania, republican line. 82 and haveo, i am been a voter all my life. i am so disgusted with our government, the way that it is being run. they're like high school, kindergarten kids. i am going to take my marbles and go home. they cannot settle anything. for gode veterans, sakes, that have protected them while they are snuggled up in the bed with their families, and their crucifying them without the and if it's -- without their benefits. shame, shame. they want to get to the borders, that is fine. they have cut the unemployment rates on people that are in their 50's. they cannot get another job. yet, they want billions to the
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borders to allow criminals to walk in here? shame, shame. we need to do something. i cannot just blame obama. i am a registered democrat, but did not vote this time around. this country is downsizing fast, and it is a shame. of my family that were in all three wars, and they were proud to do it for their country. you would not find kids today that want to enlist. they are sick of it. thank you very much. you get theay that government accountability is by dramatically cutting the executive branch. you can change or congressperson, but you cannot change any of the folks at the regulatory agencies. congress has an interest in pushing authority to those regulatory agencies, specifically so they can keep being reelected. if you want an answerable government, the executive branch must be shrunk. if you do not like your
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congressman, you can get rid of your concert -- congressman and there will be consequences. right now, we are not getting rid of our congresspeople, and even if we do, there is no major change in how the country is administered. we should all be for a smaller and more controlled government, one under our control, not one that is under the control of one man in the executive branch. and it should not be under the control that the fuel -- people that were elected ages ago. host: do you consider yourself a tea party guy? guest: absolutely. i think the tea party has been dramatically mystified by the media. i do not understand why 100% of americans are not "tea partiers." they are looking for smaller government and lower taxes. host: anthony, stockton, california, democrat line. caller: thank you for taking my call. first of all, i want to say, ben
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california,is from as well, represents california. but i want to make the comment .bout jerry brown bottom line on that is that we had a republican governor, and he destroyed -- [indiscernible] no one said anything. jerry brown gets in there and we are in the black instead of being in the red. he has been doing a wonderful job. they need to give reddit where credit is due. talking about the president, you know, this immigration, everybody here is an immigrant. it is typical for them and the republican parties to sit up there and talk about these children coming over the border or whatever. if you want to keep it real and be real about it, leave the country and give it back to the native americans, the indians,
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who it rightfully belonged to. thistired of hearing all talk about immigrants, emigrants, they are taking our country. guess what, america, it is a new america. host: thank you, sir. arnold schwarzenegger was a for a show of a governor in california. jerry brown has multiplied the budget. is in thes -- that he black is asinine. he is not in the black. he raised taxes on the people in california, and we have budget deficits. we have over one trillion dollars of structural debt here in the state of california. so the idea that jerry brown has healed our wounds is a fiction created by the "l.a. times." i am for pretty much an open border if we get rid of the welfare state. the problem is you cannot have a welfare state and an open border. it is like having a donut shop and giving away free donuts to everybody who walks in. if you do that, you will soon be
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out of donuts. that is what is happening in the united states. what bothers me is the coupon at that the democratic party plays on, the ethnic and racial solidarity opponent, the idea that it is just all these white folks that want to shut down these like folks and hispanic folks that are coming across into the country. a lot of black folks and hispanic folks are not happy with the border situation. being to understand how in favor of a rationally regulated border and understanding who comes in the country is in any way debt or mental to the united states, and i fail to understand how taking the position that anybody who wants to be part of the american dream should be part of the american dream so long as they are not on american benefits. betweenase-fire clash -- collapses between israel and hamas. the truce broke down when clashes began and militants fired rockets into israel. any comment? guest: shocker, huge shocker.
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turns out that hamas, which has been murdering every jew in the region, it does not want a cease-fire. there is a huge shock. the administration saying israel should have a humanitarian cease-fire and should stop going after people who want to murder them in their beds, it demonstrates the blindness of the administration and the moral incapacity of the world to understand true evil. what we're watching in hamas and israel is clearly a case of good versus evil. -- ben shapiro was on the "in-depth" program on booktv last year. you can watch that on booktv.org. you can find out more about his book also. a couple tweets -- this one says i will have a little more spring in my conservative step this morning things to the no holds barred attitude of ben shapiro.
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see theone -- we can president for over 30 his authority, why not sue congress for not doing their job? guest: i think the proper remedy for congress is just not to of everym, their teacher years, so they can do that. we need to get away from this idea, unfortunately it has become common, that compromising is the job of congress. the job of congress is to protect your rights. if they compromise on your rights, you do not want to be a part of that. what we wanted to economist at his answer will to us, and we want an executive haughty head of answerable to us. what is a gradual slide into a executive dictatorship because we have a group of people in america we do not watch closely and yell for compromise. problem,there is a something must be done. at the congress does not do it, then the president should. in the constitution of the united states, the job of the president is specifically
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defined, and nowhere does it say "do good stuff." he has two watch his constitutional boundaries. >> laura, independent line. caller: i have one question and one comment. mr. shapiro mentioned that while obama could have an impeachable offenses, that they would not impeach him. if we're not going to enforce our laws on the border, you know, and let illegals overrun us there and say, no biggie, we will just keep them, and then if you do not impeach the president for wrongdoing, you know, what kind of message are we sending? don't we need accountability somewhere? more than a slap on the wrist, saying, we are sorry that you are doing this, but go right
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ahead and do it because we will not take any action against you, you know? i personally think he should be impeached. as far as the gentleman who called in and was ranting and raving as a number of callers yes, weut immigrants, are a nation of immigrants, but the point is it is legal immigration. they came through ellis island and had medical checks and were quarantined if they had a disease or something. they had paperwork. they did not just walked across the border as they chose. and then, you know, said, ok, stay here. we have people doing it legally. but you're breaking the law coming across our borders, and we will just bump you to the head of the line because you are cheap labor or whatever the thing is. i would like to hear his thoughts on those things. host: thank you. guest: as far as the immigration
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issue and when people's ancestors came over, my great-grandfather came here in 1921 and the system was very different. they screened for disease and criminality. that is from any country. you had to screen for disease and criminality and things that could affect the general public. the difference was that there was no welfare state upon which for my great-grandfather to rely. the idea with the would come here -- he came with no money, did not speak the linkage, he made something of himself, started the business, and made money. that is what the american dream was. he did not come here and rely on public benefits. even if you come here and do what my grandfather did, you withbe stuck in the group public benefits. as long as the people who want to come across the border or people who actually want to work and not rely on public benefits and we change the system so that they have to work and cannot rely on public benefits, that is
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true of people here, as well. as far as impeachment, i'm for anything that stops executive overreach. impeachment will not stop that. the senate is not going to vote for the impeachment or the conviction of the president for high crimes and misdemeanors. even if it did, it would not stop the executive overreach. the executive branch is too big and burdensome. by only way to stop this is electing a congress that slices the size and scope of executive authority. a tweet -- what is your opinion on gay marriage and abortion? opinion on gaymy marriage, with regard to gay marriage, i am a traditional marriage guy. however, it is time for the state to get out of the business of marriage entirely. i think it is a mistake for the state to be involved in marriage. marriage is a relationship between two people. i have my agreement with the state, which i do not care about. then i have my religious agreement with my wife, and that is the when i actually care
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about. that is the way i believe it should be for most americans. the idea that the government would give tax benefits to married couples, it obviously did not work, and now you can get a tax credit for being married. i highly doubt people are getting married for that reason. the answer for religious people, and i am a religious person that believes in traditional marriage, here is the danger, if the state is in charge of marriage, you will get the steak green lighting gay marriage and then using gay marriage as a club against every religious organization in your state. theires will lose nonprofit status for not performing gay marriage is. sector ande llc corporate sector, and they will be shut down if they refuse to perform gay marriages. religious exclusions mean nothing. that is the end goal. the only way to stop it is to get government out of the business of marriage. as far as abortion, and my
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belief it is the taking of human life him and not just my believe but the believe of science. it is the taking of a potential or current human life. the only fashion of government is to protect life, liberty, or property. that is protecting life, whether it exists inside or outside of a woman's uterus. host: a call from california, democrat. caller: ok, this young man here is exactly the very picture of two-party isrn like. the problem it -- the modern tea party is like. the problem is they want the government to shrink, yet, on the other hand, they also want the government to get into peoples's lives and tell them that they cannot do this and .hey cannot do that the thing is, the government has shrunk pretty far. that is the problem. when you do not have one single
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entity for everyone to gather around and make their agreements about, which is what our representatives and senators are supposed to do, then we are not supposed to vote them in to argue with everybody about every little thing they have going. we are voting them in now on who can hate who the worst, and that is absolutely awful. hate with every word you say. don't you know that? host: mr. shapiro? guest: i am not aware of anything i have said that has remotely applied teacher to anybody. i have disagreed with policies on the other side. i may hate their policies, but i do not hate them. as far as the notion the government is not meant for conflict, interest is supposed to counterbalance interest. that is the entire goal of the federal government, to have interest in all its interest.
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as for the notion that i want to get into peoples lives, i am unaware of any area of american life where i am suggesting that the government get more involved in peoples lives. i am for decriminalization of marijuana, for example. i do not think the government should be involved in the business of marriage. government smaller in every area of life except for the protection of life, liberty, and property. i do not believe laws with her guard to abortion have anything to do with filing should the liberty. i do not believe you have the liberty to murder another human being or the potential of another human being. host: republican call from california. caller: i have a couple questions. is -- whens to you you talk about government, the and whatovernment, senators and representatives are supposed to do, you do not have what the rolesf of what a senator is supposed to
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do or what a president is supposed to do. in terms of what their duties are and the roles are, -- i am a republican, and the president does have executive duties he is supposed to carry out. when it comes to immigration, issue that bush signed. president barack obama has to act upon that. if he does not, he is violating the constitution. so if republicans do not give him the authority to carry it out, then he is violating it. so you cannot call him on one thing and then call them on the other. you cannot have it both ways. host: all right, i think we got the point. 2008 law, ir as the believe the republicans have
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called for changing the law. originally president obama called for changing that law, too, until he reversed himself and decided he liked the law because it kept a lot of these illegal immigrants here longer. the idea that the president has unlimited authority under the constitution is ridiculous. what the presidents of 30 extends as far as the constitution the constitution it grants, and it does not grant the president to choose which laws to enforce, and that is what we have seen from this president. the executive branch might imply that it is for executing the it, not choosing which laws feels like executing today or executing tomorrow. host: ben shapiro, editor at large at breitbart, radio , author of six , "the peopleecent versus barack
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your attention, please. i don't want to interrupt your lunch munching, but i'd like to
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get us started, if we could. we have a lot of ground to cover and some great people to hear from. i know i'm looking forward to that. my name is ed howard. i'm with the alliance for health reform, and i want to welcome you to this program on behalf of senator rockefeller, senator blunt, our board of directors. the program concerns the health of people in prisons and other correctional facilities and the health care they need and the health care they receive, which may be the same and may not be the same. if you're concerned about getting proper care to those who need it, then how those behind bars have access to care should be important to you. and if you care about state budgets, you need to care about prison health. states spent about $8 billion on
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correctional health care in 2011, which was about $1 in six of their entire correctional budget. that level of spending shouldn't be surprising. this is not a healthy population. it includes a lot of folks with chronic conditions, with mental illness, with addiction disorders, and it's getting older as the population ages. so it's not surprising that states are trying a whole range of different strategies to get a handle on correctional health spending. everything from contracting with third parties to deliver the care to having more services delivered on site, to taking advantage of new health coverage opportunities for inmates. so today we're going to take a look at how well those strategies and some others are
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working and what kinds of policy changes might be helpful to improve both the quality and the value of the care that this population receives. and as we examine these issues, we're pleased to have as a partner in today's program. later in the program, you'll hear from dr. asher, who's a physician from a tennessee joint venture that provides correctional health care and in which they're a partner. let me do a little housekeeping before we get started. if you want to tweet, that's how you do it, with the hash tag #prisonhealth. if you need wi-fi in order to tweet or do anything else, the
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credentials are on the screen. feel free to make use of them. there's a bunch of good material in the packets you received when you came in, includining b biographical information. there's a materials list and additional material you can go to for further edification. all of that is on our website, allhealth.org. particularly that one pager you should try online because you can click on those things and you don't have to worry about copying a long url. there's going to be a video recording available of this briefing in a couple of days on our website followed by a transcript a day or two after that. and you can follow along with
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the slides that the speakers will be using today on that website. if you're watching on c-span, you can find all these materials and the slides on our website. you can follow along if that is what you would like to do. word about questions at the appropriate time, you can ask a question three ways. there's a green card you can fill out and hold up. there are microphones at either side of the room you can use to ask in your own voice. and you can tweet us a question using the hash tag, and we'll monitor and get that up to the dais. the only other thing i would ask is as we go forward, that you fill out the blue evaluation form that's in your packet so we can improve these programs as we go along and cover subjects and have speakers that would be of
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the most interest to you. to let's get to the program. our format is a little different than usual. there are going to be two panels, not just one. you'll have a chance to ask questions after each one. first we're going to get an overview of the issue and then turn to a view of these issues from some people who understand them from first-hand experience. and then a second panel will address concerns about health care and the correctional system from the standpoint of some folks who are charged with delivering that care. so starting with our first panel. i'll introduce them all to keep the continuity of the conversation going. we're going to start with steve rosenberg, who's the president and founder of community oriented correctional health services. is there a pronounceable
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acronym? >> cochs. >> those of you who watch the redskins tryout understand coaches are important. steve's been working to assure health care access to vulnerable populations for more than 40 years and provides technical assistance to correctional systems toward that end. debra rowe is the executive director of returning citizens united here in d.c. with 20-plus years experience supporting and advocating for those re-entering from incarceration. she holds a master's degree in human services and spent several years incarcerated herself some years ago. finally, we'll hear from jacqueline craig-bey, who's a supervisor at a domestic violence safe house here in town and an advocate for inmates and former inmates among other vulnerable groups. he's the first paralegal hired by the university of d.c. law
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school, and before she, quote, turned her life around, unquote, as she phrases it, she spent more than 20 years in prison herself. so we're really looking forward to hearing from you folks, and we'll turn first to steve rosenberg. >> well, thanks, ed. thank you, all. welcome for joining us. i'm really appreciative to have the opportunity to talk about this relationship between public health and public safety because they're so closely tied. as ed mentioned, i'm president of cochs. our goal is to break down the barriers and build connectivity between our public health and public safety systems. before proceeding, i just want to make a quick distinction between jails and prisons to make sure everybody understands what we're talking about. jails are county or city-based places where folks are held prior to trial or for being sentenced to a misdemeanor usually less than one year. prisons are operated by state or federal governments, and folks go there for a longer sentence.
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with the data you have in front of you, shows the point in time snapshot of who's in jail and who's in prison, but i'd like to turn your attention to the data below that, which is that more than 11 million folks annually circulate through our nation's jails. those folks are there for a very brief time, and 4% of them, only 4% of them end up in state prison. 96% are released directly from jail back into the community. so when we look who's cycling in and out of jails, what we see are these are our nation's most marginalized folks. they're largely young, largely nonwhite, largely poor, and suffering from diseases way in pro proportion to it the rest of the population. let me just give you some data you can see that. these are the rates of hepatitis for justice-involved individuals compared to nonjustice-involved individuals. and you can see as we get older
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down the age spectrum, the gap widens largely. this is the data on hiv compared to justice-involved individuals compared to nonjustice-involved individuals. this is the data on substance use disorder. there was a recent study that was completed. it's known as the adam study, which looked at the incidence of substance abuse disorders. so we obviously can see that much of our criminal justice system is inherently a public health challenge. folks have substance use disorder. it's that disorder that's having them end up in the correctional system. similarly, folks with serious mental illness -- look at that data. national population compared to local population. and for women in particular, this is a much greater
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challenge. more than 30% of women who have incarceration or justice-involved have a serious mental illness. obviously what we're depicting to you is this is a challenging population. but what i want to show you are their insurance status. prior to january 1st, 2014, 90% of individuals leaving jail were uninsured. so we make this investment in stabilizing their health care because we are required to under the supreme court's ruling which said that public jurisdictions have a responsibility under the eighth amendment to not be deliberately indifferent to the citizens that are under their charge. so we make this investment in stabilizing them and then the minute they leave the street, typically we lose that investment. but it's the bottom point i think should be of more concern to all of us. a study showed that of individuals incarcerated who had
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a chronic disease, 80% of them did not receive treatment for that chronic disease in the year prior to their arrest. so if you have an untreated behavioral health disorder, you're not receiving treatment for that disorder in the community. the likelihood of your ending up exposed to the criminal justice system becomes fairly high. so what do we know about what happens when we treat the underlying substance use disorder? washington state in 2003 ran a natural science experiment. their data system allows them to organize the jail booking data, medicaid claims data, and mental health utilization data. the state provided $30 million of general funds to its five largest counties for them to go ahead and treat as they saw fit individuals with substance use disorder. and the results were startling. notice this is not completion of substance abuse treatment. this is exposure to substance
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abuse treatment. the first thing you want to notice is the arrest rate went down by 33%. simply by exposing folks to treatment, the arrest rate went down by a third. for every dollar that the state spent on treating folks with substance use disorder, it saved a hard $1.16 in criminal justice costs. if the cost of victims of crime are included, the savings was $2.87 for every dollar saved. that's on the justice side. now let's look on the health care side. as you've seen, folks with justice experience have very high morbidity. prior to 2003, their health care costs were increasing at a rate of 5.5% annually. once they were exposed to substance abuse disorder treatment, all of the sudden their costs dropped to 2.2% annually. here in d.c., folks are always talking about bending the cost curve. what you have in front of you is a perfect example of a cost
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curve that was bent simply by providing access to substance abuse disorder treatment. >> bent out of shape. >> that's right. bent way out of shape. where that leaves us are recommendations for you as policymakers in going forward. i really want to give you four things to consider. one is, these are folks who are not mothers with kids with ear aches who are going to bang on the door of the welfare system say, give me a medicaid card. a study in 2009 in massachusetts showed while there are only 3% of individuals in the state uninsured, 22% of individuals showing up at publicly funded substance abuse treatment programs whose demographic parallel is exactly that of justice-involved individuals, largely male, largely poor, those folks had an uninsurance rate of 22%. so the very first thing i want to make sure you all understand is that targeted outreach for
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enrollment will be necessary. this is going to be a complex and difficult population to enroll. and that the use of the medicaid administrative claiming program by public safety entities can facilitate their enrollment. most folks within the public safety world know nothing about the medicaid administrative claiming program, and that is a great opportunity for use for states and localities to bring in resources to enable them to enroll this challenging population, and as you just saw, enrolling this population will save everyone funds. the second is that we need to understand the relationship between substance use disorders and the criminal justice system and how health care providers both in the corrections and in the community can work together to increase public safety. that's the second take home. the third take home is wanting to talk a little bit about how it's important that we understand that we have an our books going back to the medicaid
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program this thing called the imd exclusion, or that is people who are patients in an institution of mental disease cannot receive medicaid. the purpose of that goes back to the desire when medicaid was started to not have the state hospitals suddenly become financed by the federal government. well, our science and vocabulary have advanced since then. we now understand things like th thraumatic brain injury. i want to urge you to give very careful consideration as policymakers to make sure that statutory folks that are 50 years old that may not be relevant in today's world, that we don't fail to meet this juncture of public health and public safety because we're trapped in old statutory and regulatory language and we figure out how to change that world in order to really
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facilitate the opportunities. and i guess my last recommendation would be to make sure that we pay attention to how we build bridges. we have these two separate silos. we have a criminal justice silo over here. we have a community health silo over there. these silos have not been very good at talking with one another, at informing one another. i guess the third would be that here in d.c. on a policy level, that we do everything that we can to bridge those gaps and to make sure that folks understand that public health and public safety are incredibly intertwined. with that, ed, i'll go to the folks to your right. >> terrific. thanks very much, steve. could i just ask you one question? >> sure. >> you were talking about new terms. i'll tell you one new term i would appreciate your defining. that is criminogenic. >> sure. what we now know is we now have identified the causes of behavior that result in people gaving in a criminal justice manner, the people becoming justice involved.
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those come under the general heading of criminogenic. that means the characteristics that have way more to do with mental health, housing, lifestyle, anger management, they have to do with peer relationships, that there's this whole bevy that we know now how to treat. the challenge has been the regulatory framework in a post-affordable care act world that limits our treatment. i want to make it clear that this is a bipartisan issue. governor perry, governor deal of georgia, they've been going out and promoting treatment of criminogen criminogenic behavior rather than incarceration. what changes is states who have enrolled in the affordable care act is to scale this at a level a state governor cannot necessarily do. >> thank you very much. we'll turn next to debra rowe. >> thank you, ed. all right. good afternoon. during my incarceration at the reformatory in the late 1980s, i
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witnessed the disheartening maltreatment of who were ill and resided in my dorm. for example, the women who were sick were kept at the very end of the dorm. this was during the time when hiv and a.i.d.s. became prevalent in communities can and several of the women that i am referencing had hiv infections. during that period, i met my colleague here, jacqueline. you see, we along with a few other sisters were the voice for those women. we raised cane and forced correctional officers to get off of their behind and get them to the infirmary when needed. and we bathed and fed them ourselves. upon release, i was offered a job by the d.c. department of corrections health administration to educate my inmate and re-entry peers about hiv disease. while studying for my job, i read a report from the centers for disease control that stated that 16% of those entering d.c.
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jail had hiv infection. and i wondered, how did they know that? i began my personal inquiry because i knew that hiv testing was not being offered at that time. i'm going to venture out and say that they were blind testing these inmates, and after advocating for testing in the jail, the correctional medical staff was frantic that they didn't have the resources for the testing, which confirmed my suspicion about the blind test. i see the same parallel with hepatitis c and that many, many women, some of whom have served ten years or less, who have had blood draws have contracted hep c infections and were unaware of their status until they came home and visited a free community physician's office and learned of their results from a laboratory result there. one inmate who has served 15 years in prison went from
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lewisberg to cumberland, then to petersburg and then to petersburg camp and had blood draws upon entry to each of those institutions. yet, he did not learn of his hep c diagnosis until he was tested at a community clinic upon his release. according to the center for disease control, the prevalence of hep c infection in prison inmates is substantially higher than that of the u.s. general population. among prison inmates, 16% to 41% have ever been infected with hep c and 12% to 35% are chronically infected compared to 1.5% in uninstitutionalized u.s. population. it's primarily associated with a history of injection drug use. cdc recommends that correctional facilities ask inmates questions about their risk factors for hc
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infection during their entry medical evaluations. inmates reporting risk factors should be tested, and those who test positive should receive further medical evaluation to determine if they have chronic infection and/or liver disease. although it's not exclusively considered a sexually transmitted disease, the hep c virus has the potential to be spread through sexual contact. it shouldn't matter that they are incarcerated. they have the right to know. all of this is happening in the private prisons. in closing, the inmates have reported that their health services are limited, and they're being charged. they have to pay $5 to sign up for a sick call and medications, and you can pay and sign up to see a dentist, for example, and may not see him until the following year. one inmate told me a few days ago that he had an abscess that
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swelled up to the size of a baseball. after three weeks before he was treated. i'm passionately concerned about those who are 55 and older in the system. this concludes my story, and i'm happy to answer any questions. and i do concur with all of steve rosen burg's recommendations. thank you. >> thank you very much, debra. and of course, for those of you who haven't been reading health policy stories for the last year or so, hep c at $1,000 a pill has a cure. prison systems and other correctional facilities right now are having to figure out how to deal with the kinds of percentages and the numbers of inmates and residents that debra was talking about.
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so public health meets -- >> public safety. >> correctional policy. you bet. now we'll turn to jacqueline craig-bey. thank you so much for being here. >> thank you for having me. excuse me. my name is jacqueline craig-bey. i am a former inmate. i have several stories from when i was incarcerated as it relates to the medical in prison. while i was there, i broke my leg, and it took them approximately a week before they got me to the hospital. i was taken to the infirmary there in the jail, and they put a makeshift cast on. i mean, it was just put on with no padding, no anything. i don't even know if the lady
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had a license to put this thing on me. when i finally got to the hospital a week later, the doctors over there laughed about it and called one another and come and see this funny thing that was on my foot. the medical facility just didn't a place where inmates should be. nobody there is actually looking to take care of an inmate. it's just a job to them. they're just there for the paycheck. when i was pregnant, i had a child while i was incarcerated. and after i had my child, you know, women here know that you have to have a six-week checkup after having a child. well, i saw the doctor in the hallway. he just touched my stomach and said, oh, you're fine, and that was my six-week checkup. and these are the type of things that go on in the prison and are
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not talked about. nobody talks about the people who have hiv, and they're afraid for other people to know that they have hiv, so they don't go to the medical facility to get their medications. they don't want people to know their status. so these are people who are sitting there with this disease and not being treated. they don't have the staff to talk to these women and men, to let them know it's okay to come to the infirmary or some kind of way to give them this medicine without everybody knowing what the medicine is. because when you go to the line, everybody knows what everybody's taking. so some people don't want to take their medication. and that's a problem. that's a big problem. there should be some kind of way where women or men can get their
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medication without the world knowing what you're taking. also, i've seen people pass -- die in prison for things that could have been prevented. women were coming down with cancer in connecticut, and it was just crazy. it was so many women at one time coming up with these cancer diagnoses. before they would take them to a facility to be treated, they would sit them there and talk about all these different tests, and had they taken them to a facility to be treated before doing all these different tests and sitting them there waiting around, they could have been treated and would have been fine probably. but instead, they sat there and waited and waited and waited, and these women died in prison.
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when they got there, nobody said that they had cancer or anything. so they were not tested for these things. but yet, they had these different ailments and nobody in prison cared. nobody cares what goes on with an inmate. they consider us the forgotten, the ones that nobody cares about. so we have to care for one another. so i would call attorneys and people that i knew in the district and have them fly to connecticut to help one of the sisters or brothers that needed some help, because otherwise we'll sit there and languish in prison with no help at all. and it's just a really sad thing for us to languish away like
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that. and that's all i have to say today. >> that's quite a lot to have to say. thank you, jacqueline. let me just ask both of you -- you've described some conditions that would result in the issuance of some arrest warrants if they occurred in some other situations. and i wonder what your perception is of the progress that is being made in the facilities you know about toward addressing some of these shortcomings. >> there is no progress being made. people are still -- jackie was in -- how many years ago in connecticut? >> 2001. >> okay, 2001. women and men are still dying, and family members -- i receive calls from family members that
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they were just notified that their family member died and they buried them. or they died, and they can't give you any answers. are you going to be able to make accommodations for your loved one or not? you know, it's just point-blank like that. they're still dying. all of what i just talked about, the young man with the abscess or the people coming home with hepatitis c and not knowing or the people that are in there very ill -- our women -- d.c. gave up the rights to our inmates. we were blessed to be in lauton reformatory during that time. but they closed our local prison. so all of our women are in a medical facility way down in florida. d.c. residents. that's another thing. they're far away from home, and they're sick and they're far away from home. at least if they were in their vicinity -- and they're supposed to be in a 500-mile radius, but
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they're not. they're all over the country. our inmates are spread all over the country. but it's not just speaking for our d.c. inmates. any inmates. i collaboraslacollaborate with different states on advocacy for re-entry. but anywhere, the family contact is very important. it's very important that you're able to have contact with your family, especially if they're ill. just like i said, if you're blind testing people and they don't know, just like cancer, if it's undiagnosed, then -- i mean, look at the people that go to the doctor and they tell you, you have six months to live. but that cancer was in your body longer than that. these these are -- it's like they're just forgotten buzz they're locked up. you know, when they come home, they have what they call the new
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federal second chance act. because they deserve a second chance. so these long-imposed sentences and then you're not going to take care of them. like i said, you have -- in oklahoma, you have a lot of elderly geriatric people. a man came home 70-something years old. he called my colleague and said -- he's still on parole. they said i got a job. they said i got to get a job. what is he going to do? that used to be your night watchman or something like that. what is he going to do? all we could do was get him some glasses. he didn't get proper treatment for his vision. so my colleague helped him to get glasses. we couldn't help him find work. but still, why hold somebody to 77, 85 and they're sick. it's very expensive to take care of them. so i know that these reforms and
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they're talking about medicaid and all of that now, but they're going to have to go back and cover a lot of inmates because a lot of our people are suffering in prison. and if you make too much noise about it or your family calls and advocates, you can get put in the hole. and imagine having a toothache and you're in a cell. because you know you need to pace back and forth. any pain, you need some type of release. but you're in a cell in agony. in the a cell, not in an infirmary. at least in an infirmary, you can lay down and you can -- and you're getting seen or anything. a year to see a dentist, a year -- and you're paying for it now. you're paying for it. you work, and if your family's not sending you money, then you work in a detail so you have
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money for commissary. but now you pay $5 for this. it's taken out of your money. you're paying for your service, but you can't be seen. it's -- no, there's no progress. there is no progress. >> ed? >> steve, please. >> i don't disagree with anything you're saying, but i want to frame it. traditionally, we send folks out to islands when they need to be incarcerated. devil's island, alcatraz, australia. parts of the united states early on in our history. we've always had this approach that folks who were in the justice system should be isolated and kept separate from folks. in that process of keeping folks separate, the kind of experiences that i'm hearing you and jackie describe are not uncommon. the blessing is we're all in this room in this very lovely senate chambers today. we're in this room for this lovely senate chambers today
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because we have this bipartisan opportunity to change that. and we have this bipartisan opportunity to change that because we recognize that keeping folks isolated on an island does not make sense in the 21st century. and that we have to figure out how we build bridges. and those bridges are partially electronic medical record bridges, which we'll be talking about in the second panel. those bridges are partly thinking differently about how we do sentencing for nonviolent, nonsexual offenders. but the important thing, i think, is the pony in this. we're sitting here in this beautiful room in the senate today because there are several hundred of you who are recognizing that public health and public safety are intertwined. and managing public safety by keeping folks on an island is not the way that we want to go forward. >> pretty good frame. we are going to stop at this point and ask if you have questions for any of the
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panelists who are up here. let me remind you you can either fill out a card or go to a microphone so everybody else can hear your question. if you are part of the twitter verse, you can use that as a medium to get the question to us as well. there's another microphone right over here, sir. >> so -- >> i would ask everybody who comes to a microphone to identify themselves and try to keep the question as brief as we can so we can get to the most questions that we can. >> i'm dr. caroline poplin. i'm a primary care physician. we ha i have a quick comment about disability. i worked for social security disability for a while in baltimore. very often we could not get prison health records. i mean, we had people who weren't in prison who had no records at all. the people who were in prison,
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we knew they had records, but very often the prisons wouldn't send them and the states wouldn't work terribly hard. that should be something easy, especially with electronic records. >> debra? >> i want to say, we have in the district made progress in that area. i used to facilitate a federal partner's meeting. it was u.s. parole with our medical system here, which is unity health care. that's where all of our community health clinics are. and we sat down and we worked it out where all medical records -- because even when an inmate leaves the prison, they had trouble getting their record. so now all of the records follow them. they all go to unity. they're centrally located in unit
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